President-Elect’s Plan For Health Insurance Light On Details
President-elect Donald J. Trump has announced nearing completion on a plan to replace President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He said that his plan would be unveiled soon after the confirmation of Representative Tom Price, Republican of Georgia, by the Senate to be the secretary of health and human services. Price is appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee mid-week, but his hearing before the Senate Finance Committee has not yet been scheduled.
The president-elect spoke in generalities about his health care plan in an interview. He said that it would be “great health care” that left people “beautifully covered.” Mr. Trump promised his insurance reform will cover more people and cost less money. He did not say how much his plan would cost or where the money to pay for it would come from.
Mr. Trump did say that his plan would include “insurance for everybody.” Mr. Trump said, “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” “Insurance for everybody” has been a goal of health care policy experts for decades. However, government-provided health insurance has found little political support and market-based solutions have proved problematic.
Mr. Trump provided no details about how his plan would work in the interview. A program that claims to cover everybody will require a very complex plan that could be tricky to develop and push through Congress. He offered no explanation of how he would persuade Congress to pass his plan. Mr. Trump only said, “I won’t tell you how, but we will get approval.”
Republicans have been vowing to repeal Obamacare for nearly seven years. Last week, Mr. Trump said he wanted Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it “very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.” Republicans have expressed anxiety about the demands for a quick replacement of the law.
Last week, the House and the Senate began the process of repealing Mr. Obama’s health care law by approving a budget resolution that would repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act. The parliamentary language approved would allow them to proceed without the threat of a filibuster by Democrats. Committees in both chambers will now work out the details of repealing and replacing the law.
Mr. Trump also said during the interview that he would force drug manufacturers to negotiate better prices with Medicaid and Medicare, saying the manufacturers will no longer be “politically protected.” He promised on the campaign trail he would press for Medicare to be allowed to negotiate drug prices.